Hot Polka Dot
29Jun/10

Mousse and Other Nonesuch Things.

I have a few pet peeves. Ok maybe more than a few, but I won't make you labour through reading all that, so here are just a few:

Dried toothpaste in the sink. A sticky nightmare to clean off and you just know it's been in someone's mouth.

The word flimsy. It sounds too much like my own name. Call me crazy, but I don't like it.

When people mispronounce or misspell words we use everyday like supposebly for supposedly, presentating for presenting and know for no. That's no way to communicate people.

A sink filled with dirty dishes next to an empty dishwasher. No further explanation is necessary.

Soap scum. So getting clean somehow makes the shower dirty. Really? How fair is that?

Bugs. Just get your creepiness out of my house! Nobody likes you!

Fingerprints on my glasses. Call me obsessive compulsive, but I prefer to see out of those things.

When you peel the lid off an open tub of cream cheese and the last person to use it has left the metal seal on it.

That sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach when you experiment with a completely new recipe for the first time and you're sure something horrible is going to go wrong.

The best part is when that bad feeling is replaced by a good feeling that causes you to pump your fists in the air and jump up and down. Yeah, I love me some good feelings.

The whole afternoon I was worried about how the mousse layer would turn out in my Lemon Blackberry Mousse Sponge Cake. I'd never made a mousse layer in a cake before. It would surely be a catastrophe. I nervously opened the fridge dozens of times to check on it and I fretted over it when I gingerly poked the parchment paper with my finger. I was sure that when I peeled back that parchment paper that all heck would break loose and my mousse would come pouring out like some unstoppable force. Then I'd have to cry in a puddle of my own purple failure.

Luckily that was all in my imagination. I mean, look at it! I don't like to brag, but come on really, It's perfect! You know how much I like to make things pretty and I'm proud to say this is one of the prettiest things I've ever created. Pretty and pretty tasty to boot.

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25Jun/10

Good For What Ails You.

I get the hiccups. Quite frequently. It's an annoyance. It's a curse.

Now let me be clear. We're not talking those aw-isn't-that-cute-she-squeeks-like-a-mouse kind of hiccups. We're talking feels-like-I've-been-kicked-in-the-throat-by-a-workhorse-gasping-for-breath-like-I'm-drowning kind of hiccups. These are grown up hiccups people.

The man to hold the world record for the longest case of hiccups is named Charles Osborne who had the hiccups for a full 69 years. That's right. I googled it. Experts estimate he hiccuped 430 million times in that time period. By my calculations that's approximately 17,300 hiccups per day and 12 hiccups per minute. I don't think I've ever had hiccups for longer than 69 minutes and a mere 10 minutes into it I was already about ready to rip my hair out.

I know all the remedies. Oh, you think you're so smart. You think you have one I've never heard of. You don't. I've swallowed spoonfuls of sugar with no results other than a mild sugar rush. I've rather awkwardly attempted a headstand which only ended in falling in a heap on the floor and bruising my knee. I've drank glass after glass of water upside down and backwards which only seemed to make it worse. I've had people scare the crap out of me repeatedly and the hiccups always return. And so on and so forth...

My problem is I have hiccup days. I hate those days. Most people get hiccups once, they cure them and they don't have to worry about it for the rest of the day. That would be nice. With me I seem to go days without getting the hiccups and then one day I get them several times. The hiccup fairy comes and goes as she pleases all the while driving me batty. It's like a cruel joke. I rejoice in curing one case of hiccups only to have to deal with yet another half and hour later. Even worse, the cure I used on the last case of hiccups doesn't ever seem to work on the next bout.

The only similarity between all those hiccup remedies is distraction. Of course if you drink a glass of water upside down you're going to be more concerned with spilling water all over yourself than the hiccups you're curing with it. If you eat a slice of lemon you're going to be too busy making that attractive puckered sour puss face to worry about your hiccups. If a certain someone throws out their arms and screams at you suddenly in their thundering baritone voice you're going to be trying so hard not to pee yourself you're not even going to remember you had hiccups.

I've heard you get hiccups from worrying about something. That might explain it. I get hiccups once and I spend the rest of the day worrying so much about them returning that they do. It's a catch 22. Curse you hiccups! Why must you plague me?

Now onto something less crazy and more tasty. These White Chocolate Apricot Mousse Lace Cups are the polar opposite of those cursed hiccups. Well sort of. They aren't annoying. They aren't embarrassing. They aren't downright uncalled for.

They are pretty. They are adorable. They are definitely delicious.

Perhaps they are the unsung cure for hiccups. Only time will tell.

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16Jun/10

Can You Dig It?

I have been inspired lately with all these lovely photos of Cherry Clafoutis floating around on the interwebs. I was originally tempted to try one out myself, but I was in the mood for something a little different. Something rich. Something decadent.

Behold the Cherry Brownie Clafoutis!


Ok, so it's not really a clafoutis by definition, but it is quite awesome in it's own right.

I had envisioned cooling these little personal brownies then turning them upside down to have them pop out effortlessly into these squiggly cubes of chocolate cherry bliss.

That didn't happened.

Instead I pounded on the bottom of one ramekin until the heel of my hand hurt. I then proceeded to turn it right side up, grab my spoon and just dig in. That works too. Plus they do look pretty irresistibly darling in these adorable square ramekins.

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11Jun/10

Nuts About Nuts.

I have recently discovered that pretty much anything is better with toasted almonds. Angel Icebox Dessert, Cherry Almond Cupcakes and Boston Cream Pie to name a few. Let me explain because this is actually quite the revelation in my case.

When I was a kid the only nuts that I liked were of the peanut variety. Yes I know, peanuts are not really considered a nut, but to a seven year old kid they are. I loved peanuts and specifically preferred them honey roasted. All other nuts to me were just those things that got in my way when I dug through the mixed nuts bowl to get to the good stuff. My mom always liked to put chopped pecans in her Chocolate Chip Cookies, which was quite a nuisance for me. In my opinion she was ruining an otherwise perfectly good batch of cookies. Sometimes, if I whined enough, she would make another batch sans nuts which was greatly appreciated.

So when I grew up and started making my own Chocolate Chip Cookies I vowed never to put nuts in them. Well look what's happened? Nuts galore! And not the peanut variety either, but my new favourite nut. The buttery, melt in your mouth toasted almond. I even paired it with deliciously nutty brown butter. What could be better?

It's an acquired taste. At least for me. I have matured. I have grown. I have evolved.

I turned your everyday household favourite cookie into something gourmet, fancy and still quite tasty. You can eat it with your pinkies out if it makes you feel any fancier.

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9Jun/10

Swoon.

There are a few specific types of food that it is considered absolutely criminal to dislike. Corn on the cob, for example. It's in season and it's on sale at the supermarket by the bin-fulls. I casually yet efficiently weave my cart around that bin and the greedy patrons digging through it all the while carelessly tossing husks on the floor. I have all summer to look forward to awkward social situations where I have to politely say no thank you when they pass the plate of corn on the cob my way. I have all summer to look forward to the shocked and hurt faces around the table when I explain I don't like corn on the cob. Professing your hate for corn on the cob is like admitting you eat puppies for breakfast.

And then the question. Oh, the question. But why don't you like corn on the cob, Lindsey? Why does anyone dislike any type of food? Because they don't like the taste! What do they expect me to say? When I was five my family and I were carjacked at gunpoint by a gang of corn on the cob and ever since then I can't even look at the stuff without bursting into tears. That's what I should say. That would catch them off guard. Ask a silly question, get a silly answer.

Then there's lobster. But why don't you like lobster, Lindsey? Oh I'm sorry if my personal choice offends you, but I prefer not to look my dinner in the eye while I viciously crack open it's exoskeleton and eat out it's insides. Seriously? Is it that hard to understand? It's like eating an overgrown bug! Then you add insult to injury and dip the poor thing in garlic butter. You know what I think? I think eating lobster is just an excuse to eat an entire stick of butter. That's all it ever ends up tasting like anyways. Would you like some lobster with your butter? I like my butter on bread, thank you very much.

But then there's things like these Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting. I would personally be shocked and offended if you told me you hated them. That's where I draw the line on criminal food aversions. Banana and peanut butter is a match made in heaven. The saltiness of the peanut butter brings out the sweetness of the banana. You bite into one and you just let the flavours combine and compliment in your mouth. Then you swoon and eat another. It's just that simple.

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